“These are people who I think are unlikely to propose novel solutions to our fundamental monetary dilemma which is that the US dollar is a faith based currency of no intrinsic value that is manipulated by the Fed, and the consequences of the manipulation are often quite distinct, different from what was intended. That’s the problem.” [My emphasis.]
People like Jesse and Jim Grant (I respect Jesse but don’t know Jim Grant) are trying to think outside the famous box, which is good, but they don’t go far enough in my opinion. All money is faith based. Nothing has intrinsic value. Even air, water and food are ‘valuable’ as a consequence of the web of life that has emerged on this planet. It is relationships and interdependencies that give rise to notions like value. Air in and of itself has no ‘value’ as one of its properties. Some other thing, e.g. with lungs, has to need it. And money, in any form, is far less important to humans than air, and as a medium of exchange has no intrinsic value. Money can only represent value. Furthermore, even if we overlooked the fact there is no such thing as intrinsic value, a commodity like gold, which in economic myth has instrinsic value, can be manipulated, and often has been. Also, gold’s value varies relative to other commodities. In fact there is no Value Foundation Stone against which all other things can have their value measured. When is mainstream economics going to get this? Ah the folly and illusion of control!
Jesse and Jim Grant warn of the dangers of group think. But there is only group think, albeit in varying degrees. No human can grow up outside all social contact with other humans and develop language. Without language no thinking is possible. Nothing we can do can alter this logical relationship. We can at best strive to be perpetually cognisant of this ‘pitfall’ of being a highly intelligent social beast, and improve our chances of preventing the emergence of the vested interests and frozen status quos, which so bedevil us now, by taking those painful and difficult steps away from elitism and hierarchy generally, towards the new egalitarianism hinted at by Open Source Software. It is in the gentle pursual of sustainable abundance that such a change can be realized, in the slow transcendence of ownership, shallow materialism, conspicuous consumption, the nation state and so on, that a new money and consequent new economics can be born and find lasting form. In his immediately previous post, Jesse suggests the same:
“The lifting of the veil from their scheme will be like the rising of the sun, as things long hidden become known. And we will look upon money and value in fresh ways.”
I dearly hope so. The question is, how fresh?